This post is all about gratitude. Manifested in better pants. It’s a lesson I learned after buying a new pair of jeans a month or so ago. (Mentioned here.)
It’s fitting that I’m writing this post now, as I sit in the airport (wearing my new jeans, of course) waiting to board my flight from Pittsburgh to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Portland, then a mini-van ride from Portland to home, where I plan to spend the next four weeks living solely in comfortable clothes (i.e. better pants) and drinking peppermint tea (and working and taking Social Psych online, but, you know).
The story goes like this: I’ve had the same couple pairs of jeans for years. They’ve served me well; one pair now has gaping holes in both knees. And not stylish holes. I’ve-had-these-jeans-for-years holes. Over the course of those years, they’ve gradually become less comfortable. They just don’t fit the same way, you know? And I put off buying a new pair, convincing myself that I didn’t really need to.
This is a day in the life pre-new jeans: Pull on old jeans. Feel okay-ish for two seconds. Start feeling irritable. Try to ignore it. Go to classes. Continue to feel irritable. Basically run back to my room when everything’s over so I can change into yoga pants. Immediately feel better. Throw jeans into drawer. Breathe a sigh of relief. Next day, repeat. Because I’m smart and insightful like that.
Honestly, I don’t even know if the reason why I put off buying a new pair was because I was afraid I’d have to buy a size up, or if it was the time and hassle, or the money, or some other reason. But in hindsight, I’m guessing that while it might have been a combination of the three, the first reason was the real driving force. I also think that if I had named it and said, out loud or not, “The reason why I suffer through wearing uncomfortable jeans that make me want to smash windows and throw chalk at people is because I’m afraid of going up a pants size,” I would have realized that the whole ordeal was most definitely NOT in keeping with what I want to value in my life.
But at some point, I finally got the memo that enough is enough. I bit the bullet and bought a new pair of jeans. And while it didn’t solve all my life problems, buying better pants taught me this: being grateful for my body means treating it with respect. More than that, it also taught me that I want to feel at home in my body. And home is a comfortable place.
Of course, being grateful for your body and treating it with respect doesn’t have to mean buying new clothes. Classic college-student that I am, I try to pinch as many pennies as possible.
Nevertheless, it would have helped me to run through this process as I contemplated the overwhelmingly complicated (not) rigamarole of buying a new pair of pants.
Name what you’re feeling. If I had recognized what was going on with me when I didn’t want to buy new pants, I could have dealt with it a lot more quickly and saved myself many days of feeling irritable with the world because my pants were too tight.
Decide what you value. I value feeling at home in my body. I also value wearing clothes I like to wear. And I value being able to do life without feeling like my circulation is being cut off from the waist down.
And then act accordingly. In this situation, it translated to wearing better pants.
So how is this a lesson in gratitude? After buying and wearing my new jeans, I realized how grateful I am for my body, size up or not. I’m blessed to be able to walk everywhere I need to go, to run when the weather’s lovely, to dance around my dorm room while I’m cleaning.
And there it is. Wearing better pants reminded me to be grateful for my body.
Have you had an experience like this? What’s something you’re grateful for today? Mirror-selfie-taker, yay or nay?
Linking up with Amanda for Thinking out Loud!